Former Mets relief pitcher Joe Smith has signed a three-year, $15 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels, according to Jon Heyman. The 29-year-old spent the past five seasons in Cleveland after he was infamously traded there by the Mets after the 2008 season in the three-team deal that brought back J.J. Putz.
While the Mets could use some bullpen help this winter, their seemingly limited budget likely priced them out of a free agent of Smith's caliber. A three-year commitment to any relief pitcher is a risky proposition, but Smith has been very, very good in his big league career. In 378.2 innings, Smith has posted a 2.97 ERA and 136 ERA+, the latter of which suggests he's been significantly better than the league-average pitcher.
If Smith's deal comes as a surprise to you, welcome to free agency in 2013. Free agents today clearly cost more than they did in the past, and this signing seems reasonable for the Angels.